Authorities Wednesday imposed curfew-like restrictions in parts of south Kashmir including Kulgam district to foil separatist “Kulgam Chalo” program while top separatist leaders were placed under house arrest and JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik detained.
The large contingents of police and paramilitary CRPF were deployed across the Kulgam district to prevent people from taking to streets and staging anti-India protests.
Most of the roads leading to the district were sealed with barbed wires placed to prevent people from marching towards village Frisal, where two civilians and four militants were killed on February 12.
The separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called for “Kulgam Chalo” today to protest the civilian and militant killings in Frisal on February 12.
A police official said restrictions under section-144 were imposed in Kulgam to maintain law and order and foil protests.
Amid heavy deployment of forces, clashes erupted in parts of Pulwama and Bijbehara.
Scores of youth in Pulwama took to roads to march towards the Kulgam as a mark of protest against the recent civilian killings.
However, police and CRPF men fired teargas shells to disperse them. The protesters pelted stones on the cops and the clashes continued for more than an hour.
Locals alleged that police apprehended three students while they were on way towards coaching institute.
After the clashes, shopkeepers downed their shutters while transport disappeared from the roads in Pulwama.
“The CRPF men smashed the windshields of dozens of parked vehicles in the town,” the locals alleged.
They further alleged that CRPF went on rampage in Muran Chowk, Rajpora Chowk, Dangarpora and Pricho areas and damaged the parked vehicles, motorcycles and smashed glasspanes of houses.
The clashes also took place between protesters and forces in Bijbehara in Anantnag district. The protestors pelted stones on the cops, who fired tear smoke shells and resorted to heavy baton charge to disperse them.
Meanwhile, police placed under house arrest Hurriyat Conference (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at his Nageen residence this morning to prevent him from marching towards Kulgam.
The Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, DFP chairman Shabir Ahmad Shah, National Front Chairman Nayeem Khan and other top leaders are already under the house arrest.
Police also detained JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik from his Masiuma residence this morning to prevent him from marching towards Kulgam.
He was lodged at Police Station Kothi Bagh.
Meanwhile, large number of people took out a protest march in downtown Nowhatta area against Kulgam killings.
Chanting pro- freedom and anti-India slogans, the protesters marched from Jamia Masjid up to main Chowk Nowhatta. They were demanding that force personnel involved in civilian killings should be punished.